Short bedtime stories

Short bedtime stories

Some evenings, children are tired and overstimulated after a full day, but they still want a bedtime story. To avoid arguing or refusing to read a story because it would take too long, why not try one of our short bedtime stories? These are also a great choice if you have several children and each of them wants to choose ‘their own’ story: instead of one fifteen-minute story, you can read three that only take five minutes each!

At times like that, you probably feel like putting off reading altogether, even though you know suggesting that will cause another argument. But did you know that a bedtime story is in fact just the thing for such moments? Reading together regularly in the evening sends a clear and welcome signal to children that the day is over and it’s time to settle down and go to sleep. And the good news is, it works even when you don’t have a lot of time! For a calm, happy bedtime instead of an argument, why not try our series of extra short bedtime stories? Or what about one of our stories with soothing sounds that are specially designed to aid relaxation and help you fall asleep? They help children relax and unwind from all the excitement of the day, and process all the stimuli they can’t stop thinking about.

Short stories are also handy during the day if you want something to fill a short gap in your schedule or if your listeners are too young to pay attention for more than five minutes. Ours include not only classic fairy tales but also from stories from ‘real life’. They’re just the thing for the doctor's waiting room, the bus stop, the train or during a car journey. When it’s horrid weather outside and you’re running out of ideas, they can be a quick way of averting a boredom crisis.

With all the hectic rushing from school to work to clubs to chores, you might be wondering when you’ll have any time to read. Our very short stories can be the perfect place to start, because you really don’t need more than five minutes! Getting into the habit of reading together with your child, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes, helps to add moments of relaxation and bonding into your busy schedule. These are moments that won’t just be enjoyable in the moment itself but will also warm your heart in retrospect. Whether you choose a classic story passed down from generation to generation, or a ‘real life’ tale that teaches a useful lesson, those few minutes of reading can be both educationally and emotionally enriching. There is a huge range of topics to choose from, too: with a short story, you can explain to your child how he or she should behave in a certain situation, and find out what he or she thinks about a particular topic. Don't be afraid to talk to your children about the stories you’ve read together: their thoughts and opinions may open up whole new horizons for you! And if you sense that your child is struggling with anything, fairy tales and stories about childhood heroes can be a huge help on the way to processing and expressing their struggles.

Bedtime stories under 4 min

About a Ladybird

Tereza Sebesta • 4 min

This four-minute-long delightful story is an ideal candidate for a short bedtime read. Moreover, the calm setting will prepare your children for a pleasant rest.

A Night Under the Stars

Tereza Sebesta • 4 min

In the evening, watching the twinkling stars right from your sleeping bag or gazing into the flames of a real campfire can be a truly beautiful and enjoyable experience. Using those restful images can help your child fall asleep.

The Cocky Inflatable Crocodile

Kate Gonda • 4 min

Our next short bedtime story on the list is one about a green crocodile who isn’t just a blow-up toy, but also a puffed-up one, who spits poison with every word he says – so much so that all the other inflatable toys by the lake are afraid of him. 

Bedtime stories under 5 min

Why Polar Bears Have Short Tails

Scandinavian Legend • 5 min

This legend tells that long ago, polar bears had long and fluffy tails. A bear was hungry and had nothing to eat until his friend the fox told him how to fish in the cold. But he never managed to catch one fish - and even ended up without a tail. Read to your kids this short story about polar bears!

Of Eagles and Bugs

Aesop • 5 min

Even Aesop’s fables contain some short bedtime stories! Read aloud the story Of Eagles and Bugs, showing how our wits can help us defeat much stronger opponents and overcome difficult obstacles.

And the extra bonus is that building a reading habit with your child, even just a few pages at a time, also helps with:

  • Vocabulary development. Children soak up words like a sponge soaks up water. And stories provide a whole lot of new words!
  • Interest in further learning. Children are naturally extremely curious, and reading undoubtedly encourages and feeds that curiosity. Even a few minutes a day to begin with can plant the seed of a reading habit that will draw them in and spark all sorts of new interests. 
  • Training patience. Children who are used to reading tend to be more patient and don’t back down from every obstacle that comes their way. They learn this from their favourite fairy tale heroes who always persevere despite challenges and setbacks.
  • Stimulating the imagination. The more we read, the broader and freer our imaginations become!
  • Fostering empathy. Young children are not naturally very empathetic – this gradually changes as their brains develop further and as they learn more about the world around them. They are also greatly influenced by the examples and role models they find in fairy tales and stories, which are a gentle but effective tool for helping them see into other people’s feelings. Who wouldn’t want to be like their favourite hero?

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